2011 Media

Top Innovators in Medical Research Come Together To Find Cures
3rd Annual Partnering for Cures Meeting Focuses on Collaborative Approaches to Speeding R&D

More than 800 leaders from across all sectors in medical research – philanthropists and investors; medical research foundations and institutes, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic investigators, payers, and policymakers – gathered today to find partners and forge the alliances necessary to accelerate medical progress. 
Hailed as a "game-changing meeting" and medical research's most outcomes-oriented, and patient-focused event, Partnering for Cures is convened by FasterCures - the Washington, D.C.-based center of the Milken Institute – for the sole purpose of speeding the time it takes to turn discoveries in the lab into therapies for patients.
"Serendipity is not going to cut it anymore. Turning scientific discoveries into better health requires all stakeholders in the medical research system to work together," said Margaret Anderson, executive director of FasterCures." This effort allows stakeholders to easily find each other, share ideas openly, develop concrete solutions, and create lasting partnerships."
This year, 30 cross-sector partnerships took center-stage and presented novel approaches to commercialization, academic translational efforts, data sharing initiatives, drug repurposing programs, clinical trials innovations, and intellectual property management.  These innovative programs pave a path forward that could yield results that will improve and save the lives of millions of patients.
"Translating the science that comes out of basic laboratories is the greatest challenge and opportunity we are facing," said biotechnology serial entrepreneurJohn Mendlein of Fate Therapeutics/aTyr Pharma during the opening plenary. "The good news is that we are witnessing a transformative time--there has never been such an intense focus on collaboration as we are witnessing now."
Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, noted in this plenary discussion that "the agency needs to find ways to come together with strong science, industry leadership, and patients to identify opportunity and seek regulatory flexibility."
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, said that to speed the drug development process, we need to "pay more attention to surrogate endpoints and intermediate indicators of success, and not waiting for the final or perfect solution." She urged that "scientists need to be exposed to the clinic so they better appreciate the urgency felt by patients, families, and their doctors."

Now in its third year, Partnering for Cures connects innovators and inventors across sectors, diseases, and disciplines and provided a platform to share collaborative solutions. With 16 panels and 90 speakers, the meeting focused on solutions – those that must be developed and those that must be amplified. The meeting also featured a customized partnering system.

It has facilitated industry partnerships that led to commercialization agreements; empowered philanthropists to make more informed investment decisions; enabled medical research foundations to find the right partners and investors; and engaged academia to incorporate new business models that accelerate the research and development process.

About FasterCures
FasterCures / The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions is a nonprofit think tank and catalyst for action that works across sectors and diseases to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise. A center of the Milken Institute, it is nonpartisan and independent of interest groups. For more information, visit